Feb 08, 2023  Jessica Holder

How do we lead in these times?

If everyone is burnt out…what do we do? In the last three years, we have all heard the phrases:  “Burn out, overwhelmed, quiet quitting, compassion fatigue.”

As leaders…what do we do with this? How do we lead in times of such extreme burnout and overwhelm? 

We all know that this is a multifaceted issue that involves many different initiatives. In a world where there is so much out of our control; how can we focus on what is in our control?

As leaders, I'm sure we have struggled with this paradox for the past three years. However, what we do have is a beautiful document in Ontario that guides us as educators, leaders, and people. In a time where we are encouraging educators to reorient themselves with the foundations of “How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years”; how might we first use this to guide our actions and intentions with educators? 

In Ontario, we have been given a document that leads from the values of belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression. It highlights how we can respond to children, families, and educators to promote a positive and enriching experience for all. How Does Learning Happen?

In our work with leaders, we often hear, “How do we resolve these issues of burnout?” or “How am I ever going to get out of this recruitment and retention issue?”

All of these questions are valid and deserve our attention. At Discovery Professional Learning, we help leaders just like you find a path to co-creating a passionate and pedagogical culture that is rooted in the values of belonging, well-being, engagement, and expression. 

We feel so passionately about this topic because we did this ourselves! We have done a complete cultural renovation at Discovery Child Care. Over the past 5 years, we have anchored our leadership practices deeply in the values of How Does Learning Happen? We have made intentional efforts to improve the conditions for educators and have seen a profound evolution in our organization’s culture. We are proud to say that we have gone from an organization that had limited trust, belonging, and well-being to a thriving culture where innovation, collaboration, and deepening pedagogical practices are centered in all that we do. All of our leadership training and pedagogical consultation is created from our own lived experience of transformation and we are so excited to share the word that change IS possible.

Imagine a world where you walk into your organization every day and:

-you feel joy

-you have trusting relationships and feel a sense of belonging

-You are valued for the work you do

-You have a community of people around you holding you up and rooting for your success

Imagine a world where:

-you actively contribute to the lives of others (educators, children, families, community), 

-you can freely express your gifts

-you are a resource to others

-mental health and wellbeing is a value at your workplace

-there is an abundance of staff and we can take days off when we want 

-recruitment and retention is no longer an issue

-people seek out this work and stay for long fulfilling careers

- we have meaningful work daily

- we are living into our values

-contributing to a bigger vision and purpose, and feeling we are a part of something biggerSmall Group break out session

Imagine a world where we do more than merely survive, we thrive. After the past three years that we have had, we all deserve to feel purpose and passion in our work. You deserve to stop spinning your tires and find sustainable solutions to support you and your team. We believe that this world is within our reach and that it can be achieved by creating conditions for leaders and educators to think deeply about our work in a variety of professional learning opportunities. 

Published by Jessica Holder February 8, 2023
Jessica Holder